The Government recently issued new guidance for people moving home in the social sector. A copy of the full guidance can be found by clicking here (link will open in new window) and we strongly advise all applicants to read the section Advice to the public (link will open in new window).
The key points of the guidance have been summarised below.
Landlords have been advised to consider how to carry out their activities in line with the government’s advice on social distancing in the workplace. Practices should also be altered in line with this wider guidance, including:
- property inspections for vacating tenants
- collecting returned keys
- conducting viewings
- conducting tenancy sign-ups
- preparing homes to be re-let
Some applicants and tenants may be anxious about moving at this time. It is important to ensure that they do not feel under undue pressure to move, if they are not ready or able to do so. It will also be important for the Landlord to discuss with applicants and tenants their state of health, level of vulnerability and their arrangements for moving (including any assistance required) before proceeding with the move.
Landlords should avoid moving tenants who are showing symptoms of coronavirus or self-isolating. There may be exceptions to this (e.g. safety reasons) and in these scenarios Landlords should speak to the local Public Health team about appropriate infection control measures before taking any action.
Landlords should also avoid moving residents who are shielding because they have been notified they are in the clinically extremely vulnerable group. If a home move is required, the Landlord should speak to the local Public Health team for advice on appropriate measures to protect the resident.
Although your Landlord will place no pressure on you to move where you are not ready or able to do so, they may also be unable to hold onto a property you have successfully bid for. We therefore advise that you only bid on properties where your circumstances have been considered and you are in a position to move. This is particularly important for those applicants who are shielding who will need to discuss any intention to move with their Landlord in advance, to consider whether this can be completed safely.
If you have concerns about any of this guidance or would like further information about any of the revised practices, please do speak to your Landlord.